Several Regional Democratic Councils (RDC) are still finding it difficult to carry out consultations on the proposed regional flags and emblems, as many stakeholders are still in objection.
While some regions have outrightly denounced any such move, those that have embraced it are finding its challenging to get the project off the ground.
Back in 2015, Government through the Communities Ministry proposed the introduction of regional flags, positing that it depicted a representation of independence.
On Thursday, several regional officials indicated to Guyana Times that they are not interested in the exercise and have not been holding consultations.
In Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), officials there said the region has always been against the proposal and has not been dwelling on it. Regional Vice Chairman Nandranie Conjah said there has not been any consultation on Government’s proposal.
Over at Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), officials said they are not aware of any such consultation. At least nothing has been held at the level of the Council.
Similar sentiments have been expressed by the Regional Vice Chairman of Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Regional Vice Chairman Denis DeRoop said the region is completely against flags. According to him, the concession is that the idea is promoting federalism, something that the region does not embrace. He said the proposal was sent to the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) which have all indicated they do no need regional flags.
In Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Chairman Gordon Bradford said consultations have commenced and things have been going favourably well. He said the region has already identified its emblem, but is experiencing some small challenges as members of Amerindian communities are requesting that something more be added.
In Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Vice Chairman Elroy Adolphus said the consultations are ongoing with no known hiccups.
The proposed regional flags and emblems were presented at the inaugural meeting of the National Regional Development Consultative Committee (NRDCC).
Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan had said that the intention was to start displaying the flags and emblems at Government buildings across the regions for public discourse and feedback.
He said that consultations with stakeholders in the regions will discuss the flags, emblems and renaming the regions. He had pointed out that the decision would either be yes, no or later but, the RDCs would be expected to make a decision and they would have the opportunity out of a consultative process to identify what would be the desire of the region.
The regional emblems along with the renaming of the 10 administrative regions are part of the Government’s efforts to foster regional empowerment and pride.
The Minister reiterated that the flags presented are “not cast in stone” but are meant as specimens that may or may not be changed depending on the need arising from the discussions that would take place in the communities.
All the colours of the regional flags are from the National Flag. The symbol on each regional flag denotes something that is famous to the respective region.
The parliamentary Opposition People’s Progressive Party had rejected Government’s proposal, noting that the Golden Arrowhead is the constitutional flag of Guyana and any other flag imposed on the country is contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of Guyana.